10 Unspoken Writer Truths


October 8, 2017 0 Comments

I am reasonably sure that ALL writers have faced some form of writer’s dilemma at some point during their endeavors. Whether you are a published or an unpublished author, whether you are a blogger or whether you are a journalist or a freelance writer, you WILL inevitably face one, some or all of these unspoken writer truths.

  1. What we all grapple with is whether to stay true to writing that comes from the heart, or to write about what we THINK is popular and what our audiences demand. But, trying to “break” into the industry is enormously overwhelming which results in us swapping out that which we know for that which we think our readers want to know. We begin what will become the greatest warfare within us when we write about that which we THINK is more appropriate and acceptable, than that which we feel and know to write.
  2. That brick wall half-way through your story. It happens! It’s real! It is intimidating and discouraging! We’ve outlined and planned our stories so well; we’ve replayed our plots a million times and then, for no reason at all, and completely unexpectedly … it hits us! That block! Writer’s Block. The most terrifying two words a writer can utter. We avoid it at all cost! We have hit a blank and nothing at all, makes any sense to us anymore. It scares us. We lay awake at night when everyone else is asleep while we do our utmost to overcome and conquer those two dreaded words. It is real and there is nothing as terrifying and unspoken as the reality of Writer’s Block.
  3. Our books; our stories will never be good enough for you, The Author. There will be days when we view our work as fantastic! In our minds, we are convinced that this book will become the next best seller! Our stories are fabulous, our writing faultless. We are excited about the journey, we write non-stop and we adore our characters. Then panic sets in. The moment our books reach the finish line, we begin to panic. We doubt whether that which we have written, is as magnificent as we initially, presumed it to be. We re-read pages a hundred times and we begin to question the authenticity of our writing skills. We begin to question our work while a little voice begins to whisper that what we have written, may be complete RUBBISH … from beginning to end, we have written nothing more than worthless JUNK. Then, as we begin to accept our work as utter garbage, we warm up to our writings and we once again, fall in love with all that we have written. It is a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end! It never ends and our books are never, ever quite good enough! While we are writing them, we are fascinated by it all, but the moment we consider the fact that strangers out there might read what we have written, we are tormented by whether THEY would view it as a masterpiece, or dismiss it as total jumble. It’s real. It’s the truth. We second guess EVER SINGLE LITTLE THING.
  4. We dread being asked what we do. It’s easy to talk about our jobs, but when it includes writing, we shy away from answering truthfully. Why? Because of the interesting, yet conflicting reactions we get. People tend to think that writers have an endless supply of time and freedom to sit down and write whenever they want to. People assume that writing pays ALL the bills, and then some. People are under the misguided impression that all we do is write. We supposedly walk around in our robes all day long while drinking coffee, eating snacks and hammering away on a keyboard. They are sorely mistaken. We must get up, dress up and show up just like everyone else. Typically, we have regular jobs and earn regular pay checks that actually pay the bills. We taxi the children from school, to ballet classes, to soccer matches or rugby games and back home again. We have laundry, house cleaning and cooking to get through, just like everyone else.
  5. At any given time, a friend or acquaintance will ask you to edit, read or write something for them. You are asked to step into their shoes and write a letter, an obituary or a thank you note on THEIR behalf. If we agree and ask them what they would like to say, the response is almost always the same, “Well … you’re the writer, just write something!” They assume that writers KNOW what to write … ALL THE TIME! And … about ANYTHING!
  6. We unintentionally edit EVERYONE ELSE’S writing. We correct their spelling and grammar mistakes; we are fiercely critical of the absence of their basic writing skills. We have no time for lazy writing and we tend to NEVER respond to badly written text messages. It enrages us when someone confuses the words there, their or they’re; you, your and you’re. It KILLS us when words such as “must of” is used instead of “must have” or “must’ve.”
  7. We are constantly torn between promoting our work and not wanting to be “the one” who repetitively promotes his work on every single social media outlet available. It is irritating to watch the same post pop up on a hundred different groups or pages online. Then, there comes a point where we are REQUIRED to discard any and all personal views we have on this as we reluctantly go ahead and self-promote. It becomes and on-going conflict within ourselves.
  8. We have NO sleep schedule. Nothing. We could spend an entire day away from our notebook or laptop BECAUSE we just have nothing much to say, but we almost always wake up at any given time during the night, whether it is 3 or 4 am by unexpected, yet miraculous inspiration! We MUST write at that very moment. Inspiration makes way for more, and the moment the “more” strikes, there is no sleep afterwards.
  9. Our music changes. It no longer moves with the times. Our favorite music is determined by the quality of the lyrics. We tend to keep up with music trends ONLY to keep up to date with music that is “happening” around us; that song that has been number one for the past gazillion weeks. We lie, because we are embarrassed to admit that we find inspiration from certain songs … no matter how old or tacky they are.
  10. We have selected the entire playlist for our books-that-turn-into-movies. We have cast the actors and actresses; we have even found the country/city/village in which to shoot our movie. And then … when all has been said and done, we have walked into the filled-to-capacity cinema and we have imagined our stories play out right in front of us. This however, REMAINS unspoken of!


October 9, 2017